Visit the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls and find no shortage of angles from which to see the natural wonder of the world.
The Niagara Falls is made up of three huge waterfalls on the Canada/USA border. There’s the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. One of the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Parks describes it as ‘Ontario’s only 56-kilometre outdoor adventure museum’. Despite being one of the world’s most visited natural wonders, it doesn’t feel like an overly touristic place once you’re at the falls. Nature speaks for itself, loud and clear.
There’s an amazing diversity of ways in which the Niagara Falls can be viewed, meaning there’s something to suit every whim or fancy. If you know you want to do a few attractions, there are various adventure passes available from Niagara Parks, which include entry to multiple locations. It’s a good way to save money rather than paying for each attraction individually.
We started with the Whirlpool Aero Car, which is an antique cable car that travels from one side of the gorge to the other. It was built by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo in 1916. Passengers stand around the sides of the cable car as it travels along the cables. Suspended over the water, this is a stunning introduction to the falls and the Niagara Gorge in general.
Next up, we embarked on the White Water Walk. Visitors take a lift 70 metres down to river level, walk through a tunnel, and arrive next to a stretch of the Niagara River’s Class 6 white-water rapids. This is a self-guided tour along a boardwalk, with viewing platforms along the way to get you even closer to the roaring water, which is travelling at around 48km per hour. It’s a great way to see how the Niagara Falls isn’t just about the falls themselves, and you really feel the intensity of the water from this angle. On the way back, stop and read some of the stories of historical daredevils who have rolled over the falls in barrels, and other similarly crazy antics…
Journey Behind the Falls is a worthwhile experience to go to next. Visitors descend 40 metres in a lift to find themselves in tunnels which are 130 years old. There’s an outdoor observation deck which gives you a side view of the falls. However, the viewing portals in the tunnels are the places to truly stand behind the falls. Two tunnels have been cut all the way through the rock, so you can literally see the rush of the waterfall from behind.
A visit to such a watery part of the world wouldn’t be complete without getting out onto the water. The Hornblower Niagara Falls Experience goes past the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, before going into the middle of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. This is the part where you realise why you’ve been handed a plastic poncho! It’s worth getting wet for the totally immersive experience of being in the heart of the Niagara Falls.
When you’ve seen the Niagara Falls from all other angles, there’s only one thing left to do: take to the skies and see it from above! Niagara Helicopters has flights leaving throughout the day. The journey starts above the gorge near the Whirlpool Aero Car, before the flight continues over the Whirlpool Rapids, the Rainbow Bridge and the American Falls. Then comes the highlight: following the curve of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and watching the thundering water and rainbows down below.
This year is Canada’s 150th birthday, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate some of what the country has to offer. The Niagara Falls may be one of the most visited natural attractions in the world, but sometimes it’s worth being a tourist for a day to have an experience of a lifetime. The Niagara Falls doesn’t disappoint. It’s a once in a lifetime trip for many, but that won’t stop you wanting to go back again and again.